Two people have 636 million reasons to celebrate today, as they have won the second largest Mega Millions jackpot in history. After weeks of no one matching all six numbers, two people, one from Atlanta, Georgia, and the other from San Jose, California, are finally ready to claim their prize.
Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery’s executive director and Mega Millions’ lead director, had originally predicted that the Mega Millions jackpot could have reached $1 billion by Christmas, after the jackpot grew to a whopping $586 million.
“We’ve never had a jackpot at this level in December leading into the holidays,” Otto said before last night’s drawing. “If we keep rolling, we could well be at a billion dollars going into Christmas.” As cool as that would have been, it doesn’t look like the jackpot will be reaching that $1 billion mark any time soon.
After last night’s numbers were drawn ( 8, 14, 17, 20, 39; Mega Ball: 7), it was reported that two people would be splitting the $636 million. The cash option is estimated at $341 million, before taxes. Otto also informed us that $336 million in tickets were sold for Tuesday’s drawing. They had originally only projected $319 million. “Sales were a little better than we’d anticipated,” Otto said. “It was a fun run, it was our first holiday run for either of the big jackpot games.”
The jackpot will reset to $15 million for the next drawing that will take place on Friday, December 20. Mega Millions tickets are sold in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each ticket costs one dollar.
Image via MegaMillions.com